Three off-the-beaten-path ideas that PPC pros should think about in 2016


Okay, I get it. You’ve read all the recaps, trends and goal post articles you can handle on paid search these past few weeks.

But let’s talk, because I want to show you three areas you may not be thinking about that ultimately impact your customer’s journey – even though they’re a little off the beaten path.

1) Stay visible and secure: HTTPS

HTTPS is a consideration for everyone on the Web. In 2014, Google announced HTTPS would be a lightweight ranking signal in organic search that could have more weight in the future.

Then in April 2015, Google announced HTTPS for AdWords products, allowing for HTTPS-encrypted ads. In its announcement, Google said these updates would change the ad experience for users, and that means for advertisers too…

“Our HTTPS Everywhere ads initiatives will join some of our other efforts to provide a great ads experience online for our users, like Why this Ad?, Mute This Ad and TrueView skippable ads.”

Do you remember how many years Google told us to “go mobile” before it started implementing things that would impact non-mobile-friendly sites? If it’s bound to happen, it’s best to start prepping now. HTTPS has benefits beyond just compliance with Google. As this article at points out:

  • “When traffic passes to an HTTPS site, the secure referral information is preserved. This is unlike what happens when traffic passes through an HTTP site, and it is stripped away and looks as though it is ‘direct.’”
  • “It encrypts all communication, including URLs, which protects things like browsing history and credit card numbers.”

However, there are a lot of practical barriers to entry that need to be addressed, as this article points out.

I spoke with my Web developer, Rachel Cunliffe of Cre8d (author of the article above), and she said because it’s complicated, confusing and generally costs money, it’s likely there will only be widespread adoption of HTTPS once it’s a seamless part of hosting packages.

Rachel then pointed out that hosts manage all sorts of other things behind the scenes for their clients, which people running websites do not need to know about, and believes HTTPS should be like that too.

If you’re considering making the switch, check out these two helpful Moz resources on HTTPS:

In the end, there are people for and against HTTPS, but it’s up to us to stay educated so when our clients and employers ask, we can convey what all of this means to them.

2) Draw customers in: video how-to content

Video ads are an up-and-coming resource for many advertisers, including B2Bs. They may not result in direct sales, but they have a whole bunch of other benefits – they’re engaging, the clicks are cheap and people are consuming video content like crazy right now.

According to Google in 2015, searches related to ‘how to’ on YouTube are growing – 70% year over year. And the most popular searches are educational searches (perfect for B2Bs – like “How to choose a PPC agency” for example).